The 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries have reached an agreement on "core elements" of the Pacific Rim trade pact, namely that all countries will adhere to strict labour and environment standards, a development Canada is championing as a major breakthrough after talks broke down earlier today. A planned meeting of TPP countries was unexpectedly cancelled earlier today after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau skipped the event when bilateral talks with his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, ended in disagreement. TPP talks are ongoing on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Da Nang, Vietnam. While some international media were blaming Canada for earlier derailing the talks, a spokesperson for the PM told CBC that there was simply no consensus between the 11 member countries. Trudeau said days earlier that Canada would not be rushed into an agreement. There is still substantial progress to be made, and the chances for a deal by the time the summit ends on Saturday are currently unclear.
(With files from The Canadian Press)